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ANNECY, France — “There were dragons, when I was a boy. Where they went, only a few know. Our story changed the world forever.”
Delivered in voiceover with lilting, slightly rasping nostalgia an old Hiccup, as Toothless glides out over a deep blue sea, the plain but poetic sentences kick off the trailer of “How to Train Your Dragon 3,” dropped last week by DreamWorks Animation, which director Dean Deblois screened a the very beginning of what will almost certainly be the most warmly received of Hollywood studio presentations at Annecy.
Cressida - Cowell - Book - Words - Film
Plucked from Cressida Cowell’s book, the words will end the last film of the “Dragon” trilogy. On stage at Annecy Thursday, Deblois’ presentation of one of the world’s most awaited animation movies underscored the wowing visuals, larger scope, new inventions and characters, comedy and above all new rights of passage journey of Hiccup in “The Hidden World.”
A common sentiment of people coming out of DreamWorks Animation’s 80-minute sneak peek was that, if the film is as good as what was on display at Annecy, this could go better still, winning new converts to the Berk universe, and proving one of the crowning glories of DreamWorks Animation.
Annecy - Hidden - World - Set-up - Place
After Annecy, “The Hidden World’s” set-up, however, is slightly clearer. The main narrative takes place about a year after “Dragon 2.” Hiccup has created a Berk dragon-Viking utopia, but it’s near impossibly overcrowded and threatened by surviving warlords, holdovers from Drago’s army in “Dragon 2,” who hire the urbane, peroxide blonde, Scandinavia/Russian-accented Grimmel, who has killed all the other Night Furies out, save Hiccup’s. Then Toothless discovers an untamed mate, Light Fury, a svelte white and deep-blue eyed dragon, whom he courts, with Hiccup’s instructions, the Night Fury turning into a gauche cutie pie.
First, Deblois set out Hiccup’s character arc. All three pictures turn on “universal...
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